The CB crackled to life to a chorus of questions. “What is that?”
“Is that a Mack?”
“Can I trade you my truck for yours?”
“How can I get me one of them?”
Jonathan Randall’s smile couldn’t get any wider—this was exactly the reaction he hoped for when Mack set out to redefine its Class 8 highway presence with its new Mack Anthem. As he led a convoy on a two-day trek from Mack’s HQ in Allentown, Pa., to the site of the North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV) in Atlanta, truck driver reactions validated the driver retention details that Mack crafted into the Anthem—inside and out.
“The response to the truck has been tremendous,” Randall said standing in the Mack Trucks booth at the NACV show. As Mack Trucks’ senior vice president of sales, Randall was excited to talk about the Anthem with the masses that flowed into the booth to check out the new truck. “It stands out from the crowd,” he said proudly, “and that’s of part of the Mack heritage: an attitude of clearing your own path. The look of it gets people’s attention, but it’s also more efficient than the Pinnacle.”
The Anthem is available in several configurations, including a day cab, a 48-in. flat-top sleeper, and a 70-in. stand-up sleeper. Inside, the new driving and sleeping environments put the emphasis on increasing driver comfort and productivity. Outside, the Mack Anthem’s chiseled angles exude attitude that drivers are drawn too, but it’s not just for looks—the Anthem’s aerodynamics improve fuel efficiency up to 3%, compared to the Mack Pinnacle. In addition to a new hood and grille, Mack engineers redesigned the roof and chassis fairings, mirror covers, and front bumper and air dam to more easily cut through the wind. Randall explained that if you add the GHG17 Mack powertrain on top of that, efficiency gains reach up to 8.8%. Throw in the Mack MP8 engine’s turbo compounding option, and efficiency can be improved up to 11% overall.
“We want to pay attention to fleets’ costs as well as their needs,” Randall said. “Driver retention is a big piece of the equation and that’s why we’ve packed the Mack Anthem with options—different seating options, for example. And that’s why you see everything within reach from the driver’s seat. Our color displays are larger and everything is closer to the driver. We even put a unique cell phone stand on the dash so that a driver doesn’t have to hold it in a cup holder. All of this came from driver feedback after meeting with thousands of drivers.”
Additional features include Mack’s 5-in. Co-Pilot display, which provides vehicle information, including engine and oil temperatures, trip odometers, aftertreatment status, tire pressures and more. A Pre-trip assistant guides drivers through inspection points and includes a single-person exterior light inspection mode Mack also introduced Mack Connect, which the company says will serve as the reference for Mack’s connectivity and uptime service offers.
With Mack Connect, current and future services will be structured under connected support, connected business and connected driving. Using predictive analytics and connective technologies, Mack Connect turns data produced by the truck, the driver and the service process into insights and actions. The Mack Anthem will also have access to the various Mack uptime solutions, including the GuardDog Connect telematics service and Mack Over The Air.